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Does the Church have ‘small-minded’ rules?
In the Light of the Law ^ | 9-20-2013 | Ed Peters

Posted on 09/20/2013 10:12:27 AM PDT by markomalley

Of course.

The Church is a two-thousand year old, transnational society. It’s bound to have acquired some small-minded rules along the way. Want an example? Take Canon 718 of the Pio-Benedictine Code, the rule that prohibited non-members of the parish rosary society from marching under the flag of the rosary society in a Corpus Christi procession.

Per Canon 718, mom (who was a member of the rosary society) could walk under the rosary banner, while dad and the kids (who were not members) had to march under, what? I guess, the banner of the Non-Members of the Rosary Society. One would think we’d have been happy to have dads march with moms in Corpus Christi processions at all, and not worry so much about which group they walked with. Still, canon law saw it differently then. But today, small-minded Canon 718 is gone.

The Church eliminates her small-minded or out-dated rules, once they are recognized as such, basically the same way that great nations like America or Italy or Argentina, or great cities like Detroit or Rome or Buenos Aires, eliminate their small-minded or out-dated rules once they are recognized as such. Not always as quickly as we might like—I remember my law school prof pointing out to us in 1980 that ‘The law in Missouri still is that anyone operating a motor vehicle at night must be preceded by a man on foot with a lantern!’—but eventually, such rules get tossed, as they should.

But great rules, rules that provide the very structure of great societies, must remain in place. Great rules for behavior (like, don’t kill preborn babies, or take holy Communion if you persist in obstinately manifest grave sin), and fundamental definitions (like marriage is the union of one man and one woman) must be defended, by the mighty and the lowly alike.

Small-minded rules impede law’s service to society and should be eliminated. Great rules must be defended, in season and out. And explaining the difference between small-minded rules and great rules helps us all to know how to live with and for one another.

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: prolife; rcc; romancatholic

1 posted on 09/20/2013 10:12:27 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley
Let me begin by saying right off the bat, I'm not Catholic. However, when I heard the Pope's remarks about the Church shouldn't trifle over "small-minded" doctrine, I immediately thought of Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate (through Christ); for the gate is wide and the way is broad (man's way) that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

Of course Christians have a different worldview from non-Christians! It's disturbing that a man in his position holds a "whatever" point of view. I sincerely hope he was taken out of context.

2 posted on 09/20/2013 10:59:32 AM PDT by TennesseeGirl (Learn history and REMEMBER)
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To: markomalley

I was surprised by his example, that something so picayune would be specified in Canon Law.

However, in addition to such cases in which it could said with complete accuracy that “the Church” has small-minded rules, there are rules at various levels in the Church that can be an impediment to the real mission. I’m thinking particularly of rules for “gatekeeping” the Sacraments which emphasize “inputs” such as classroom time rather than the “product”: a person who knows and believes the Catholic Faith.

3 posted on 09/20/2013 11:13:59 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Prioritize!)
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To: TennesseeGirl


Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control


Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.

“Obsession” in defense the unborn baby and opposing abortion, the “most abominable of crimes”, as stated in Vatican II, is not a sin but a virtue, and Pastors of the Church who disparage those who fight for the unborn, are betraying one of the main tenets of the Catholic Church.
The BBC reported that Pope Francis turned down the red cape with ermine by saying this: “No thank you, Monsignore. You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!”
And he walked into the papal apartments and said “There’s room for 300 people here. I don’t need all this space.”

Isn’t to brag about your own humility denoting a form of arrogance? Isn’t Pope Francis in fact belittling the virtues of previous Popes?

Pope Francis: ‘I have never been a right-winger’
By Steve Ahlquist on September 19, 2013

In an almost direct rebuke to critics, including Rhode Island’s own Bishop Thomas Tobin, leader of the Providence Diocese, Pope Francis, in his first extensive interview since being elected to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has said, we cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Shouldn’t Bergoglio rather answer that a Pope must be above labels and state firmly and clearly that his duty is to defend unequivocally the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Magisterium of the Church?

What was the position Bergoglio had then regarding Liberation Theology?

He was completely against it. In fact, as Theology students, we had never studied a single book by, for instance, Gustavo Gutiérrez, one of the founders of Liberation Theology, of by [Leonardo] Boff, or by Paulo Freire, with his studies on an education that is not a cultural “dependency” [of the “imperialistic powers”]. In Philosophy, we had read little, very little, of Heidegger and Kierkegaard, one single chapter of Thus Spoke Zarathustra... Not to mention Marx, Engels, Sartre, Foucault, the Post-Moderns, etc. Nothing that could contradict Catholic doctrine or dogmas. All that under strict orders of Jorge Bergoglio.

Bergoglio was against Liberation Theology… before he was for it. Why, otherwise, Leonardo Boff, the Maryknolls, and all the main advocates of Marxist Liberation Theology, are elated with the new Pope?

4 posted on 09/20/2013 11:24:42 AM PDT by Dqban22
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To: markomalley

Perhaps some are small minded. The prohibition against outdoor weddings as not being a “sacred space” for example. The outdoors were created by God...what’s not sacred about them?

Other rules are taken directly from the teachings of the Gospel and must be held rock firm.

5 posted on 09/20/2013 11:34:55 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Good example.

6 posted on 09/20/2013 11:37:51 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Prioritize!)
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To: Tax-chick
Before 1918 (if I understand this correctly) there wasn't a single "Code" of Canon Law, there was a huge collection of Canons what has been passed all over the world by Synods, Bishops Conferences, Abbots, etc. etc. They tended to respond to exigent local situations which didn't necessarily apply elsewhere.

For instance,Canon law in Germany attached ecclesiastical penalties to dueling. The reason why was that, although dueling was already prohibited under German secular law, thi prohibition was rarely enforced, and at some of the German Universities, dueling (sometimes with sabers!) was rather an acceptable thing for a young man to do, in particular in defense of his "honor." Having a saber scar across one's cheek was romantic and "distinguished."

So the German Church specifically penalized it, not because dueling is worse than other kinds of fighting, but because secular society was way too accepting of it.

7 posted on 09/20/2013 5:10:22 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." -- -1 John 4:7)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Thanks, that’s very informative. American society was very tolerant of duelling around the turn of the 19th century, but perhaps the Church wasn’t sufficiently influential to even bother bringing it up.

8 posted on 09/20/2013 5:43:25 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Prioritize!)
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